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Filipinos to have national IDs soon after bill hurdles Congress bicam

Mara Cepeda
Filipinos to have national IDs soon after bill hurdles Congress bicam
The proposed national ID system is expected to streamline the delivery of government services and reduce fraudulent transactions

MANILA, Philippines – The bicameral conference committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate has approved a bill seeking the creation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys). 

Lawmakers were able to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the measure that mandates the creation of a single and unified proof of identity for Filipinos to facilitate their public and private transactions. 

Ako Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin said on Wednesday, May 23 that district representatives agreed to adopt the Senate version with minor changes. (READ: DBM: National ID system to improve delivery of gov’t services)

Senator Panfilo Lacson, sponsor of the bill at the Senate and former Philippine National Police chief, estimated that the national ID system will be in place by June. 

“It must be signed within 30 days. If he does not sign it in 30 days, it will lapse into law. So, give or take, by June end, or before end of June, this is already a law,” said Lacson.

Both the House and the Senate must first ratify the national ID system bill before it can be sent to Malacañang for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing. Congress is set to adjourn sine die on June 2.

Once passed into law, the national ID system will be managed by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The system will collect a person’s common reference number and basic information. It will also collect and store a person’s biometrics, voter’s ID, Philippine passport number, TIN number, PhilHealth number, PRC number, and driver’s license, among others.

A resident’s personal data, however, may only be released under the following conditions:

  • upon the consent of the registered person, specific to the purpose prior to the processing
  • upon risk of public health and safety when relevant information may be disclosed, provided the risk of significant harm to the public is established and the owner of the information is notified within 72 hours of the fact of such disclosure
  • upon order of the court
  • when a registered person requests access to his or her registered information and record history, subject to the guidelines and regulations to be issued by the PSA 

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno supports the measure, saying the national ID system will help improve the delivery of government services and reduce fraudulent transactions. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.